Thursday 18 July 2019

'It was the act of revenge' - Louis van Gaal reveals he rejected lucrative job to spite Manchester United chiefs

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal
Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Louis van Gaal has revealed he rejected an offer to become Belgium manager in the summer of 2016 in what he describes as 'an act of revenge' against Manchester United.

Roberto Martinez was eventually named as the surprise choice to take over as Belgian boss, but Van Gaal has revealed he turned down the chance to take on the role as he wanted to ensure he was paid up for the final year of his contract at United.

Under the terms of his United deal, he would only receive the full amount of his deal if he did not take another job before it expired in June 2017 and he refused to take on a star-studded Belgian side to ensure the Old Trafford club continued to pay him.

“It would have been really great if I had become Belgium national coach, but I was so resentful and vindictive that I let that job go by,” Van Gaal told De Volkskrant.

“It was stupid, really, because the sporting value should always come in the first place. That should have been the most important thing. But that’s how I looked at things.

“It was not about money. It was all about the act of revenge. I went for my instinct, not the rational. I just have to live with that. I’ve been a really successful manager, so I don’t want to slag the world of football down.

“I have had a lot of good times, but the way Manchester United have treated me was terrible. They have been mean and low.’’

Van Gaal also suggested the comments of club legends questioning the 'boring' brand of football he was playing at United was an orchestrated attempt by the club to discredit him.

“The former players of United started to have a go, saying that I was giving the fans boring football,” added Van Gaal. “That struck me. It was directed, organised.

“After a while I started to think I’m losing my authority this way towards the players. So I had to make concessions in my approach of the players.

“That was tough, because I’ve always had my own way of coaching.’’

Online Editors

The Throw-In: Kerry back to their best, Connolly’s return and Cork’s baffling inconsistency

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport